The Great Booster Seat Crackdown 2010 is in full swing, as the state law requiring boosters for any kid up to the age of 8 under 4-foot-9 to be boosterized, front seat or back, went into effect yesterday.
Getting a third-grader to sit in a booster seat is not something we'd relish doing, but luckily we won't be facing that crisis.
The Department of Public Safety says it's been getting a bunch of questions about the new law, even from childless drivers.
"We've had people call in and say 'I'm under 4-9, do I need to be in a booster seat?' And we're like 'No, ma'am -- the law has the word "child" in it, and that little word has a big impact here," DPS spokeswoman Beth Warren tells Hair Balls.
She said some parents also seem to be confused -- partly due to mistaken news stories (as if such a thing could exist) -- about what to do if your kid is older than eight but still shorter than 4-9.
"What we're trying to get people to understand is that on the eighth birthday, it becomes the parents' decision to choose whether their child needs to be in a booster seat or not," she says. "Unfortunately people thought every child under 4-9 had to use them."
Also, if your kid is over 4-9: no booster needed, no matter their age. And, of course, older kids under 4-9 don't need to be in full-shell booster seats used by infants; there are smaller, less embarrassing options available for when he's pulling up to baseball practice.
DPS has no stats on whether they've given out any tickets for boosterless kids.
The fine for a first offense is $25; subsequent offenses can be fined a maximum of $250.
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